Tag Archives: teaching

Sick with a cold

It’s actually probably a sinus infection. Now that my negative results are in I can call my doc for a telemedicine appointment and get an antibiotic. Since fevers and chills have been part of this I need the meds instead of just gallons of water and oranges and Theraflu.

I get one of these things 2-3 times a year most years. Looks like this year is no different. Except for the dread that goes through you when you feel like crap now because of covid.

I’m not working tomorrow. I’m so glad I don’t have covid, that my one week of real teaching week before last didn’t turn into a nightmare.

Our cases are hitting record levels again. We have more covid cases in the hospital than ever and hospitalizations and deaths lag positives so the next two weeks are going to be awful. We’re going to go through what my hometown is still going through now. I will never understand how we let this happen. How we let the angry President turn masks into a political statement.

How people followed him so fervently they accepted that his proven lies were real and that Dr. Fauci was lying. And then, when it was so clear COVID was real, people either continued parroting the lies OR they shrugged and said sucks so many people have to die.

We’re here now in this space of waiting with dread for what comes next for the nation. But two of the vaccines are going to be ready soon so help is coming.

I don’t have covid. I’m so, so thankful.

Here We Go

My school admin cares. They have spent so much time on a plan to keep us safe. They were as real as real could be on our first day of PD yesterday.

They let us stay in our rooms alone and do our sessions via TEAMS if we wanted. I wanted, obviously.

It felt so great to be at school for school. And it was incredibly scary just because people.

The hard part about going back and using TEAMS for distance sessions was how desperately I wantedj to go to the lecture hall and see people. How badly I wanted to walk around and say hi.

Masks are the absolute expectation so that’s good. Especially since earlier in the week some people were at a different school and said people were encouraged to take off their masks since they were 6ft apart.

My campus is NOT playing with this, and they watch the news. the entire district now has masks as the expectation so that won’t happen again.

Kids don’t come back until Sept. 8, and that’s only if it’s safe.

So people have a month to get numbers down. We bought time. Time means fewer exposures. And the district is taking all of this very seriously. Hopefully the community does the work and we get to open as safely as possible during a pandemic.

School districts are in such a bad spot with this, at least in Texas where our governor has refused to lead and his AG keeps ruling in ways that make it impossible to get COVID under control. It’s almost like Abbott and Paxton are happy thousands of Texans have died and most areas have uncontrolled community spread. SMH.

One district over some of their teachers had a rally and spoke to the board at an emergency session also. They did not get the response we did. AND several were informed they were exposed to COVID because someone took off their mask when they spoke. Others have been informed they were exposed at school despite only 50 people in the building at one time. So quarantines have started there. And they’re still opening to students this month.

It’s happening everywhere schools are opening. It’s a when not if. And the response has been eh, sucks but we don’t have a choice.

It’s so infuriating because yes, we do. People just refuse to do it and our government refuses to have a plan.

I just don’t get it.

Anyway, it was good to be back to work. It was scary because I’ve been following the rules, but without students, being in the building feels safe. but it also feels cold because schools are people places.

I miss normal. I’d say I don’t know why people aren’t willing to do the work to get us back to normal but then I remember all the pictures I’ve seen of people doing normal just fine. and that’s why all of this is dangerous.

Year 27. Stayed up until 2 in the morning before having to be at work because the school board went to closed session then moved back to open where they had an incredible discussion that showed they were taking this all very seriously. The discussion made it clear they’d heard us and that they’d done a ton of work on their own to learn more about what was going on, including working with a public health doctor. I had no idea what was going to happen, but as I listened I was so happy to know I’m in a district that cares about its faculty and staff, students and parents and the community at large. As I told them, they were put in an awful position and there were no easy answers. But as one of the board members said in discussion, there also were no right answers. Every answer they came up with was a wrong answer for someone. That really helped me see how hard this is for them. At the end of my comments I said they can’t make everyone happy but they can make most of us safe. And I believe that still, but it’s the most in that statement that makes this so hard. In the end they voted 6-1 to delay students returning to campus and to start with remote learning until at least Sept. 8. Thank God! Praying for the board and district leadership and for all campus admin as they make very difficult decisions during an impossible time. Year 27 will be like no other.

Expendable

Teachers are expendable. Should have known that, but I fell for the public health authority move to close school buildings because they weren’t safe right now.

Turns out safe doesn’t matter. We’re going for a safe as we can possibly make it……

Smh.

Pray people, pray.

No comments, please. I’m not up to them.

It Won’t Be The Same

Our librarian posted an article with links to a TEA letter to districts that we need to prepare for school to be different next year.

At first I was upset. This has been hard. Maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done as an educator.

What we’re doing isn’t true distance learning. We’re in crisis mode emotionally, physically, spiritually. This pandemic is not something we can just power through. Our kids are working more than ever, babysitting, trying to focus, dealing with crappy Internet, sharing technology with siblings, dealing with the repercussions of parents’ lost jobs.

All of this has been a giant shock to the system.

BUT

Next year we can prepare.

We can look at best practices and work together to develop strategies for success. Educators can learn content delivery systems and how to use our tech resources.

School can’t be what it’s always been in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Online education can’t be the same as what we do in class. A mix of distance learning and in class learning can’t be the same. The same is simply not.

But what we do can still be solid.

It won’t be easy.

All those shocks to the system are still a thing. We won’t magically solve the social issues the pandemic made glaringly obvious. But we can do school.

And like our librarian said, we have the opportunity to make lasting change.

Link to article with TEA guidance.

Time is Different

This is not normal. This is not okay. This is a crisis and we’re all dealing with it the best we can. Teachers, parents, kids, admin, counselors, all of us. We’re all in this together and it’s okay that it sucks. But we have to make the best of it because we have no choice. I learned this from a Facebook post this morning. Sometimes Facebook is a good thing.

Learned this week: Distance learning is NOT like regular class time. Time flies and everything takes longer than class time. The systems set up for my yearbook class have to be redundant. That’s not bad. It’s just time consuming.

I have to remember this because next week I have to MOVE. Breaks have to be planned or I won’t do them. I won’t even think about them until hours have passed because it doesn’t feel like hours until it’s over.

It’s Friday. I’m tired. More tired than I’ve ever been in my entire teaching career. I miss my kids and my teacher friends. I’m a strong believer in protecting your personal time, but there’s no time for personal time right now.

I can’t imagine doing this with kids at home. But I see a lot of people doing it and doing it well. That’s amazing.

Comparison is a Joy Thief

If you would have told me social media was going to make me hurt over teaching in the time of Corona, I would have said you were crazy.

But it’s happening.

I’m a mess and there are all these videos and ideas and lessons and shout outs and “We Did Its” and rah-rah-yay! moments and all I can think is WTF?!?! And then I’m in the guilt spiral of why can’t I just be happy for people instead of self-critical about my lack of Yay! And then I’m in a guilt spiral over the guilt spiral over the guilt spiral.

I’m a mess.

But it will get better.

I love you yay people. I’m just not there. I hope I will be. I like being a yay person. This has been a year of non-yay, and that was before Corona. Dang menopause.

Teenagers, Teenagers

Spent today with teenagers who chose to give up their Saturday to compete in UIL Academics.

People trash talk teenagers all the time. But you know what? Young people make me happy.

They believe absolutely that they can do almost anything unless that belief has been sucked out of them. They will defend their beliefs with research and a well thought out argument. They are kind and caring and considerate, and they often reach out when they see someone hurting or alone. Even if they don’t know that someone.

They are smart! When I was in school we had to take math. Not Algebra. Math. And science? Physical Science and Biology. Social studies and English weren’t even required four years. Sure, some kids did more. But you didn’t have to to graduate. These kids take tons of tough classes and still work and juggle busy electives AND give up their weekends for UIL.

People talk about teen attitudes, and yeah, they can roll their eyes so far into the backs of their heads I wonder about their health. But you know what? Go hang out on twitter for more than five minutes. You’ll see they’re just in training.

Teenagers are great. Glad I got to spend my Saturday with a few.

School, School, The Golden Rule

I loved school from the start even though it didn’t always love me.

In Bald Knob at 5, I think, I got in trouble for singing off key on purpose. It’s the only thing I remember about being in school there except the time I accidentally stayed on the bus and was scared I’d never get home.

In first grade in Minnesota I couldn’t read even though everyone else in my class could. But I didn’t feel like a failure. I felt special because I got to sit at a little cubicle desk and use a film strip about dinosaurs to help me learn phonics. I never doubted I’d get to the circles, and I was determined to get to blue.

When we moved to Texas I liked learning, and I even got over the time my teacher screeched and threw my paper in the trash because I’d written “in the margin.” She didn’t define margin. I thought she meant the side with the holes. It seemed silly to me to lose all that great space on the side without holes.

The worst I felt was because my handwriting never quite measured up to that of the girls who stood at the board and showed off their penmanship with pretty curlicues and hearts to dot the perfect i. But I loved school.

I loved school until junior high when a math teacher crushed my world every single day by telling me it was dumb that I couldn’t do simple algebra.

But in high school a new math teacher helped me see the teacher was the one with the problem not me.

Monday I go back to school for the second semester of my 25th year teaching. During meditation today my brain kept drifting to everything that needs to be done and things I want to address and how excited I am to see the kids but how sad I’ll be to lose this time. That’s what this break has given me more than anything. Time to breathe, to play, to reflect, to just be.

I’ll miss this break. But I still love school.

What I’m loving right now: The Daily Calm meditation, The Young and the Restless, my down comforter, the Dallas Stars, Tyler Seguin’s answers on the Tyler Seguin show on the Ticket.

What I’m writing: So Much For Happily Ever After. (Hit 48k last night at group!)

Focus On The New

Today’s Daily Calm worked so perfectly with what I’m reading in Atomic Habits. So often in the new year we focus on the old instead of the new. On what we’re going to fix instead of on the process we will incorporate to get what we want.

It’s interesting how often that message has been hammered home to his week. Last night Seguin scored, and after the game the reporter asked him about finally making that goal. He said he was going to continue his focus on the process and not the outcome. That’s important. He’s an elite level athlete and that focus is essential.

I want to bring the process focus to all areas of my life.

I love the Daily Calm app and meditation.

What I’m Loving: again, the DoTERRA On Guard mouthwash (for real, you should try it), Dallas Stars hockey, my writing group, The Daily Calm, holiday FaceTime dates with DD and granddaughter.

What I’m Writing: So Much for Happily Ever After

Breaks Are Easy

I love that winter break has so many days after Christmas this year. Before Christmas and right after things are always so busy. This extra time gives tons of space for rest and binge watching Beachfront Bargain Hunters. 😊

I’ve learned so much about me this year, some completely unexpected and not all of it what I wanted.

But that’s okay.

One of the most important things I’ve learned since starting meditation: tilting my lips up in a slight smile creates a positive physical response. For real. There’s this little ball of positivity that goes through my face and neck and settles in my chest. It’s so weird.

It’s easy to tilt my lips up when I’m mid-break. I know that. It will be interesting to see how it goes during the school year.

One thing I know for sure: I need meditation in my life.

What I’m reading: Atomic Habits

What I’m writing: So Much for Happily Ever After

What I’m loving: STILL DoTERRA On Guard mouthwash (no really! You should try it!), the Dallas Stars, HGTV, LCHF eating